Cheney bluntly calls Greene's mask-Holocaust comparison 'evil lunacy'

Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) sparked more controversy on Friday, when she called House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) "mentally ill" and likened the mask-wearing mandate on the House floor to the Holocaust. Her words didn't escape the notice of her colleague Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.).

"We can look back at a time in history where people were told to wear a gold star," Greene, who has been accused of anti-Semitism, said Friday in an interview on Christian Broadcasting Network host David Brody's podcast The Water Cooler, referring to Jews who lived under the Nazi regime. "And they were definitely treated like second-class citizens. So much so that they were put in trains and taken to gas chambers ... and this is exactly the type of abuse that Nancy Pelosi is talking about."

Pelosi's request that lawmakers prove they've been vaccinated against COVID-19 before they can stop wearing masks on the floor has been criticized by some Republicans, but it's in no way comparable to the anti-Jewish laws of The Third Reich, and Greene's comments were unsurprisingly met with widespread backlash for trivializing the Holocaust. Cheney, who called the remarks "evil lunacy," was among the critics.

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Cheney's blunt response is yet another example that she's not going to shy away from combating her fellow Republicans and former President Donald Trump now that she's been removed from her House leadership role. As The Atlantic's Edward-Isaac Dovere put it, the congresswoman "has not been very circumspect these days."

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Tim O'Donnell

Tim is a staff writer at The Week and has contributed to Bedford and Bowery and The New York Transatlantic. He is a graduate of Occidental College and NYU's journalism school. Tim enjoys writing about baseball, Europe, and extinct megafauna. He lives in New York City.